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his death, the hymn beginning, " My God, the spring of all my joys," was read, in which he joined and sung distinctly.
Ardently desirous to console his afflicted family and relatives, he dictated farewell addresses which he desired should be read to them when he was gone; and another to the church, directing it to be read at his funeral. To his brother and sister, who visited him, he said, “ I am going to leave you; my Saviour calls, and I am going home. Live near to God, and you will enjoy his presence.” He afterwards spoke of his happy frame of mind, and then sung,
“ The voice of my beloved sounds
He leaps, he flies to my relief." After a minister had visited him and prayed, he remarked, “My brethren and ministers have wrong views of my case; they do not enter into the feelings of my heart. They pray that God would lift on me the light of his countenance, and grant me the consolations of his Holy Spirit. These I do have in profusion ; 'my cup runneth over ;' I want them to render thanksgiving and praise to his great and holy name, for his unspeakable love and grace to such a poor sinner as I am, and to pray only for the continuance of . these blessings." He appeared very much exhausted, and fell into a slumber. On awaking, he looked earnestly round on those in the room, and said, “I am here yet; I thought I had passed the river, and was on the other side with my blessed Jesus," and immediately sung,
« The opening heavens around me skine,
With beams of sacred bliss,
And whispers I am his.
Inviting us to come,
To welcome travellers home.” At another time he exclaimed, “O how sweet is the love of my blessed Saviour," and sung,
“Let worms devour my wasting flesh,
And crumble all my bones to dust;
At the revival of the just.
Bring that delightful, dreadful day;
Thy lingering wheels, how long they stay." One of his sons arrived during his illness, to whom he expressed much satisfaction and confidence in God; and in answer to an inquiry concerning his situation, he replied, "I am just on the shores of time; I'linger, shivering, on the brink ; but I cannot say, I 'fear to launch away. I have no fear. Death has no terrors for
My great Captain is with me, and I know he will carry me
through. I have had such manifestations as I never thought of before ; such glorious views of the great plan of redemption, of the preciousness of the Saviour, and of the rich, free, and abounding grace of God as I never presumed even to ask; and I have more comfort and happiness, in the midst of my pain and sickness, than I ever thought it possible for a christian to enjoy while in the body.”
After this period he conversed with great difficulty, and consequently, much less than he had before done, yet some, every day, until the last. The following seemed favorite lines.
“How long, dear Saviour, O how long,” &c. The progress of his disease was rapid, but to him it seemed slow. At the hour of family worship he once said; “I am not afraid to cross that'narrow sea. The sting of death is destroyed ; O how sweet is the assurance, 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.' One evening, he sung with others the first two verses of the evening hymn, and when they were about to proceed and sing, “ Lord, keep us safe this night,” &c. he said, stop, stop; and immediately sung his favorite lines. Perceiving that versation exhausted him, his wife requested him to refrain from it, and be satisfied with only giving his hand to those who visited him. He replied, “O my dear, would you have me make the very stones cry out? I have but little strength left, and I want to spend it all to the glory of God, and do something yet for my Master. I should be glad to do more good in dying, than I ever have by living.” Yet, sensible that his strength was hourly wasting away, he evidently studied to employ it to the best advantage; therefore he never conversed with the same persons but once,
however frequently he might see them; but whenever new visitors came, he aroused all his powers to make one last effort for their souls.
The divinity of Christ was a theme of peculiar delight; and on it he reposed his whole hope. At one time he requested to hear the 17th chapter of John ; and when the 20th verse was read, “neither pray I for these alone but for all who shall believe on me through their word,” he remarked, with an energy and a countenance indicating an emotion of soul too great for utterance, “in that petition, I am included. Jesus thought on me, poor and unworthy as I am. In this I have the richest legacy. My prayers are but poor things; but my Saviour's will be prevalent; 'for him the Father heareth always." His anticipation of the resurrection of the body , of meeting all the saints who had gone before, and of being like Christ, when he should see him as he is, filled his heart with joy.
A few days before his death, he expressed great satisfaction in seeing a friend, with some regret that he had not visited him sooner, when he was more able to converse. “But, brother A-, he said, “this is the happiest day you ever saw me have; the highest enjoyment I ever experienced before, bears no comparison with the present." After expressing his gratitude to God for his goodness, he remarked, " It is more than forty years since I entered the school of Christ; I have been a poor scholar, and made but little improvement, considering the advantages I have enjoyed; and I might justly have expected, that when my Master should call me home, he would send a furious messenger and take me by a rough way; but it is not so, it is not so! At parting he bade him an affectionate farewell, and waving his hand said,
“ The next time I shall meet you will be on the other side.”
On Friday before he died, he manifested occasional symptoms of delirium, but not so as to render him insensible of his situation, or of what was passing around him. Saturday, he enjoyed perfect serenity of mind, and at evening, called his family around him, gave to each the parting hand, with a few words of affectionate counsel; and, with a faltering tongue, pronounced his dying benediction. After this, he was able to converse but little intelligibly, and during the night following seemed to be speaking to himself almost continually; and, from the broken accents which were distinguished, it was ascertained that he was engaged in prayer and praise to God. When the morning dawned, he said, “I have lived to see another resurrection morning—and I shall see one more, when the last trumpet shall sound, and all the sleeping dead shall awake, and the assembling world shall appear before the Lamb. I hope there will be a great convocation this day; and may the word of God, and my Saviour Jesus Christ, be preached in demonstration of the spirit, and with power.”
He lingered through the day, and sweetly fell asleep in Jesus at five o'clock, P. M. Sabbath, March 26, 1826, aged 62. The funeral services were attended at the Baptist Meeting house in Brandon, on Wednesday following; at the close of which, his farewell address to the church was read, making a deep impression on all, especially on those for whom it was designed.
His Farewell Addresses. Through the abundant mercy of God, whose promises support my soul in my present weak and languishing condition of boily; though confident that my departure is at hand, I feel very happy and resigned. I bid farewell to the sun, moon and stars, believing I shall soon have no need of those lights; I am bound to the city of my God, where the Lamb is the light thereof.
I shall soon bid farewell to that sacred volume, which has been the unerring guide of my earthly pilgrimage, hoping soon to meet with its august Author. And with confidence I humbly rely on the enjoyment of the more open union prepared for all who love the appearing of our Lord. This sacred volume, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has taught me my wretchedness, and the glorious remedy O the preciousness of Christ, who gave himself a ransom for many! Farewell, sacred book ; I shall soon be with the inspired writers of thy blessed pages-with Moses, David, Elijah, and all the holy prophets and apostles—and with Him
in whom I have believed—the Lamb, by whose blood I am cleansed, and in whose righteousness I hope to appear clothed.
Farewell, my dear companion. You have been the faithful associate of my pilgrimage, and have borne with me the toils and the afflictions of life. Our cup of domestic blessings has been full and overflowirg-Our joyful feet will no more in company visit the sanctuary, nor with melting, grateful hearts, shall we unite in prayer, while we kneel in the midst of our children around the family altar. We must part; but our separation will be short. Soon we shall meet on those blessed shores, 'where adieus and farewells are a sound unknown ;' where pain, sickness, and death can never enter. Till then, I commend you to Him who is the widow's God, and a father to her fatherless children. Farewell—a short farewell.
Farewell, my children. I have a comfortable hope that most of you have fled to the Lamb of God, and have secured by faith, an interest in his blood. I shall never see you more with these mortal eyes. I bequeath to you a father's blessing; and I pray God I may meet you all at his right hand. I commend you to him, who has been my support—the delight and joy of my heart—and to the word of his grace, which is able to make you wise unto salvation. My work is done! and I am going home—where my Saviour has prepared mansions for them that love him.
Farewell, my relatives. Your friendship and your society have ever been sweet to me; on earth it is now closing ; but may it be renewed with you all at the right hand of our blessed Saviour, where there is fulness of joy forever. I commend you to God; it is safe to trust in him. O'trust in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.'
Address to the Church. There is one tie more which has long bound me to earth, the dear Church, with which I have enjoyed so many precious seasons -so many rich blessings, the purchase of my Saviour's blood. I have long walked with you, dear brethren, enjoying much of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; and while we have been striving together for the faith of the gospel, and endeavoring to learn and do the will of our heavenly Father, he has granted us many refreshing seasons, and many a foretaste of joys to come. Clusters from the heavenly vine have cheered our hearts. But recently I have enjoyed more satisfaction, more happiness, peace and consolation, and more sweetness in the presence of my Redeemer, than I ever enjoyed before. In all my eyes have seen, and that my heart has felt in all the glorious revivals of religion I have lived to witness, I have experienced nothing like the present joy. If all my past enjoyment could be brought within the compass of one hour, I think it would not be so high and so exalted as my present happiness. I have had more enlarged and impressive views of the great gospel scheme, since my sickness, than ever I had before. I have had such manifestations and such glorious views as with a mortal tongue I can never describe. I am going, dear brethren, to join the church triumphant. We are invited to mansions of rest. I go to take my seat before you. My Saviour calls me home. O
how important to be fitted for that heavenly place. I never before saw so clearly as I now do, in the light of eternity, the importance of having the Christian spirit; and I want to commend it to you. O brethren, live as our Saviour lived, and imbibe his Spirit. This only will make you happy and useful here, and this only is the spirit of heaven. Gird on the whole armor of God, and march towards the heavenly Canaan.
I have done with all the emblems and symbols of dying love. I am going where I shall see the great Lawgiver, my dear Redeemer, as he is—where faith will be swallowed up in vision. Farewell 'my flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.' And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for He is with me; his rod and his staff, they comfort me.' 'How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts.'
• But there's a nobler house above.' For this 'my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth;' 'when shall I come and appear before God? This, in all probability, is my last Sabbath below; but there is an eternal Sabbath before me.
• Thine earthly Sabbaths, Lord, I love,
But there's a nobler rest above.' I shall see one more resurrection morning, when the last trumpet shall sound, and this corruptible shall put on incorruption, this mortal, immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in victory.
REMARKS ON THE DOINGS OF THE BAPTIST CONVENTION, FOR MASSACHUSETTS,
HELD IN WORCESTER, THE LAST WEEK IN OCTOBER
From the details which have formerly been given of the operations of this recent institution, I was led to infer more, perhaps, than was true on the unfavorable side ; but at the session now under consideration, I was pleased to witness a delegation from nearly all the Associations in the State, comprising a number of their leading and active men; and I was also highly gratified to observe the kind and harmonious disposition which pervaded the delegation, and the benevolent and enterprising spirit which they so clearly exhibited.
Among their judicious resolutions was one to the following effect, viz. “ That they would continue to push on their inquiries until they ascertained the number and circumstances of all the destitute and feeble churches of their denomination in the commonwealth, and as soon and far as possible, procure them the aid which they need to maintain the stated ministrations of the word and ordi. nances among them.”
While ruminating upon this measure, so wide in its scope, and so merciful in its designs, I was led to the following train of reflections,